ng-robots! A Fun Robot Hackathon At The First ng-conf

by Ron Evans

We conducted the official robot hackathon at ng-conf, the first conference dedicated to AngularJS, that took place last week in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was perfect timing, given that the release of 0.9.0 of Cylon.js ( our JavaScript open source robotics framework, had just added a AngularJS-based web UI to our API.

Over 120 people registered for the evening event that featured Sphero robots kindly provided by our friends at Orbotix. We also brought a bunch of our new Arduino Starter Kits, some Makey Makey's, and some Leap Motion controllers. Combining them together into something useful, fun, and/or creative had the participants completely captivated!

ng-conf Robot Hackathon

There were many teams that were able to complete something demoable during the few short hours of the hackathon, thanks in part to how easy it is to integrate different devices together using Cylon.js. The 3 winners got to walk away with Sphero robots of their own to keep playing with at home! It was a tough competition, but after lots of great demos, our judges were able to make a decision. The winners were:

  • Team "Beam Me Up Spotty" with a "Simon"-like game that used the Sphero & Makey Makey.
  • Team "Bananastand" that used Twitter tweets to control a Sphero in a "tug of war" called "Red Vs Blue".
  • Team "Beerbot" that used drinking glasses of beer to control the color and movement of a Sphero.

The robot hackathon was a great way to start out the conference, and the attendees agreed that it was also a fun introduction to robotics. Thank you very much to Orbotix for providing the Sphero robots, to the organizers of ng-conf, and especially to all the people who took part.